Saturday, July 6, 2019

Try Out SuperPhillip Central's List of Super Mario Maker 2 Levels!

Ahead of the site's review of Super Mario Maker 2 next week, SuperPhillip Central has a whole slew of levels representing the site and created by yours truly. If you're looking for a more traditional 2D Mario playing experience, perhaps the levels presented by SPC will satiate your appetite!

Look no further than the following link or check out the sidebar where the page containing all of my current levels are located. The list is continually updated as new levels are created and completed. Enjoy!

SuperPhillip Central's Super Mario Maker 2 Levels

Friday, July 5, 2019

Top Ten Bowser Battles

It's a tale as old as... well, 1985. Plumber meets princess. Koopa King kidnaps princess. Plumber beats Koopa King. Plumber saves princess. Rinse and repeat. However, there would be no tale without the King of the Koopas himself, Bowser. You've gotta give credit to this Koopa--he doesn't know the meaning of the word "quit". And thankfully for us, this is true, as without his constant desire to kidnap Princess Peach and upstage his rival Mario, we wouldn't continue to experience battle after battle with Bowser, nor enjoy some of the most memorable of these showdowns. With the release of Super Mario Maker 2 last Friday, it's a great opportunity for this top ten list which features the best of the best when it comes to Bowser battles in the standard 2D and 3D Mario games.

After you've checked out SuperPhillip Central's picks, which Bowser showdowns would you say are your favorites?

10) Super Mario Bros. (NES)

More of a formality than anything else, we kick off this list of the best Bowser boss battles with the original, the O.G., the very first Bowser battle in Super Mario Bros. history. The premise is simple: get passed Bowser as he spews fireballs and leaps in place. A well timed jump or run underneath Bowser's leap will allow Mario or Luigi to hit the switch to the bridge Bowser stands on, causing said bridge and Bowser plummeting into the lava below. Later worlds spice things up with Bowser chucking a flurry of hammers at players while granting less room for them to avoid his advances, but either way, this original battle against Bowser would start a 30+ year rivalry between Mario and the King of the Koopas that goes on to this day.

9) New Super Mario Bros. U (NSW, Wii U)

By this time in the New Super Mario Bros. series, it became no surprise when Bowser would take Kamek's magic and grow to epic-sized proportions. However, rather than simply run with your figurative tail between your legs as he gives chase, this time you bring the battle directly to Bowser courtesy of Bowser Jr.'s Clown Car. By jumping on Bowser Jr. as he makes an approach for the player, they can boot Bowser's son out of the Clown Car, commandeer it, and then use it to smash into big Bowser's massive (and ever thick) skull. A seasoned player can even complete the battle without Bowser Jr. ever being able to get back into his Clown Car. That'll teach you to try to put the odds in your favor, Koopa Kid!

8) Super Mario Odyssey (NSW)

Every princess is crazy about a sharp dressed Koopa. Hats off to you, Nintendo, for coming up a with new way to beat down Bowser. No, seriously! In order to take out Bowser in his Super Mario Odyssey battles the goal is to capture Bowser's punching glove-equipped hat and use it against Bowser, smashing the fists into the Koopa King for one serious knockout. This is all the while avoiding Bowser's own hat tricks, such as his flowing fire breath, spiked hats, and much more. The final battle even features multiple fake outs, so don't think you've won after you've punched the ever-loving dickens out of Bowser. You may just find out you've lost in the "tail" end! ...Okay, I've run through my quota of puns for this article through this list entry alone.

7) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy brought with it miniature planets, each with their own centers of gravity. Like many 3D Mario games, the main mechanic and gameplay premise of the game was used in Super Mario Galaxy for the battle against Bowser, where the fight itself took place on such a planet. When Bowser jumped into the air to smash down on top of Mario, the crafty plumber needed to lure Bowser to land on a breakable mound of glass, revealing a pool of lava. This would catch Bowser's tail on fire, resulting in the King of the Koopas to dash with pain and panic around the arena, a perfect time for Mario to hit Bowser in the back to deal damage.

6) Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

It only makes sense to partner up the Galaxy games one after the other, and between the two, I definitely prefer Super Mario Galaxy 2's battles with Bowser. Well, save for the actual FINAL battle with Bowser (phase two), as that seemingly ends before it even begins. Taking place on a less roomier planet than Super Mario Galaxy's fight, a huge Bowser hovers around the planet, breathing fire, calling upon meteors, and slamming his first against the planet's surface. Occasionally, meteors on the surface will rise up, allowing Mario to jump onto them and gain the opportunity to perform a ground pound. With the right timing, these meteors will then slam into Bowser's face for a well executed hit. After the usual trifecta of blows to the body, Bowser will surrender... but as always, VERY temporarily.

5) Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

Perhaps this is a technicality, as you're not really facing Bowser in this particular entry on this list. Instead, you're taking on Meowser, Bowser turned into a cat via the Super Bell item! It's a perilous trek to the top of Bowser's towering skyscraper as you avoid multiple Meowsers who wish nothing more than to stop your upward progress and claw you into defeat. This is a vertical platforming challenge that is quite the set piece! What is this, the Uncharted of Mario games all of a sudden?! At the very top of the tower, all it takes is a series of three hits to the giant POW block that the real Meowser perches upon to knock him clear out of there and to save the Sprixie Kingdom!

4) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS was a nice and welcome return to a brand-new classic 2D Mario after an absence of over a decade. However, the final boss battle wasn't too much to write home about... or to write about at all. However, the 2009 followup New Super Mario Bros. Wii brought with it a truly terrific and memorable final boss sequence that I think many take for granted considering how many Mario games since have provided us with chase sequences. After a traditional defeat of destroying the bridge Bowser stands on to drop him in the lava, Kamek's magic powers up Bowser big time and makes him grow greatly. The chase is on, but this time Mario's the one being pursued. Goad Bowser's gigantic fireballs to break walls to progress, and rush to make your way to the final switch to not only defeat this behemoth-sized version of Bowser but also to rescue Princess Peach!

3) Super Mario 64 (N64)

The impact in gaming that Super Mario 64 had on the industry can never be understated. It was huge, to put it simply. Super Mario 64 made the analog stick a mainstay in controllers and was the first to make it work wonderfully. This was used heavily in all three battles with Bowser throughout Super Mario 64's adventure, requiring Mario to run to Bowser's backside, grab his tail, and twirl the Koopa King around with enough speed and with the proper timing to chuck him into one of the mines set around the arena. Different versions of the fight would have Bowser charge at Mario, breathe fire, and even rock the arena so much that it starts tipping it over. The Bowser in the Sky battle required Mario to chuck Bowser into mines three times to finally defeat him--all the while with each throw resulting in a part of the battlefield platform being destroyed until eventually revealing a star design.

2) Super Mario World (SNES)

While New Super Mario Bros. Wii possessed a greatly creative take on 2D Bowser encounters, the reigning champ and still king of the 2D games remains Super Mario World's Bowser battle. The introduction of the Koopa Clown Car, this fight required Mario to use Bowser's own Mechakoopas against him, jumping on them to stun them, and then tossing them up into the air to land on Bowser's not-so-crafty noggin. This three phase fight featured everything from bowling balls, Princess Toadstool's lovely mid-phase Mushroom help, and Bowser's last ditch effort to defeat Mario by attempting to crush his rival underneath the weight of his Koopa Clown Car. A memorable and truly fantastic boss battle that has definitely withstood the test of time.

1) Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

Similar to Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario 3D Land's final boss fight is another sequence where platforming prowess prevails over mere offense. Mario must run through an engaging and challenging obstacle course while Bowser leaps from platform to platform, unleash fireballs, rolling barrels, and other means to impede Mario's progress as the portly plumber makes his way across crumbling blocks and the deteriorating area. The final rush towards the finish line features Mario running towards the screen as he leaps over obstructions in the form of blocks as Bowser closely chases and pursues behind him.

Not only an insanely tense last push to the finish, but it made fantastic use of the stereoscopic 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS as well. Heck, the whole game did. Even without this, though, this remarkably epic showdown presented a platforming challenge that I prefer to see out of Mario boss battles. It perfectly encapsulates what makes Mario games great--the actual running and jumping, rather than the traditional three-hits-and-they're-defeated bosses the series often uses instead

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review Round-Up - June 2019

With SPC's Game of the Month, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled,
Activision is three-for-three when it comes to remakes thus far!
A new month on SuperPhillip Central generally means a new banner and a new Review Round-Up for the previous month. That looks exactly like what we have in store here at SuperPhillip Central, and June 2019 contained six full reviews to sink our collective teeth into!

The month began with De Blob 2, a Switch port of the older PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, and it colored the joint up with a satisfying B- grade. Then, Dragon Ball FighterZ took us to the opposite side of the B spectrum with an excellent B+ grade. The lowest reviewed game of the month came next, Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition, with a disappointing D+. After that, the Saints Row franchise finally hit a Nintendo platform long after the announced Nintendo 3DS game bit the dust and was cancelled! Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package got a B-. Wrapping up the month were two games that released within less than a week of one another: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (B+) and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (A-), SPC's Game of the Month!

Check out every review ever posted on SuperPhillip Central with the SPC Review Archive!

De Blob 2 (NSW) - B-
Dragon Ball FighterZ (NSW) - B+
Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition (NSW) - D+
Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package (NSW) - B-
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PS4, XB1, PC) - B+
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (PS4, XB1, NSW) - A-

While Crash Team Racing's remake was a remarkable return to the kart racing classic
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was a spirited return to the so-called "Igavania" style of games.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PS4, NSW) "Build Your Fate Together!" Trailer

Hyped for Dragon Quest Builders 2? Want to know more about the multiplayer features within the game? If you said "yes" to either of these questions, then does Square Enix have the trailer for you! This look at Dragon Quest Builders 2's multiplayer mode allows for cooperation between players to build the worlds of their greatest imaginations. Dragon Quest Builders 2 launches on both PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 12th, and those wanting an early taste of the game can try out the playable demo available on both the PlayStation Store and Nintendo eShop now.