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July 30, 2021

Paper Mario (Part 5)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Let’s storm this castle!

Chapter 8: A Star-Powered Showdown! (Continued)

Past the room with the possible encounter with three Anti Guys, we face more puzzles and enemies. Dry Bones, Koopatrols, and of course the Magikoopas, who become more common. This dungeon has already been pretty long overall, so the final segments start to feel rather samey. This ends with an encounter with a third Bowser door, one that forces Mario to battle a team of enemies he hasn’t seen in a while: The Koopa Bros.!

How the Heck did you get up here? ...IN SPACE?

With such a talent to adapt and improve, Jr.
Troopa could be a fantastic ally. Yet, "Nope;
Gonna be a bully and antagonize a hero."
But wait, what’s that? They get quickly whacked away? Yep. They’re defeated by none other than Little Shit, who decided he wanted a final battle. In this one, the eggshelled Koopa will switch between his various forms, forcing Mario and Co. to adapt to the situation. He still winds up being fairly weak, seeing as by this point you likely have a counter for every form he’ll take and every attack he’ll use. The fight winds up being a tad disappointing. Then again, seems like it worked and this little bully learned his lesson, ‘cause we never saw him in a Mario game again.

Pah! Good riddance!

Past that door is the top of Bowser’s Castle. And, on it, Peach’s Castle. The next couple screens are nothing more than Mario wandering the empty halls towards the higher floors. You can even find some helpful items outside and inside her castle.

Won't be the last time that Peach's Castle,
of all places, serves as the theater of the
final confrontation.

July 26, 2021

Paper Mario (Part 4)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

This adventure isn’t quite concluding just yet, so we have time for another aside.

What To Do In The Mushroom Kingdom: A Tourist’s Video Guide, Pt. 2

*Tape resumes* …You’re still here? What the ever-flying dickens are you doing here visiting the kingdom while Bowser has the Star Rod and has eliminated everyone’s wishes and everybody’s feeling down and- I’m fine. I swear! I’m fine. Perfectly fine. So, you may be wondering what else there is to do in our great, beautiful Kingdom. Well, I have some answers!

Yum!
Tayce T.’s Gastronomy Stop: When everything seems bleak, a nice meal will raise your spirits! That’s the specialty of Tayce T., a wonderful grandma Toad who can whip up something nice out of, well, almost everything you can find on your travels. She can cook with only one “ingredient” per se at first, and will usually give back better items as a result. Bring a mushroom that restores 5 HP, and get in return a friend shroom that restores 6 HP as well as 2 FP! Whatever that's supposed to mean... Once she retrieves that cookbook that she seems to lose all the time, she can make even better recipes with two items instead of one, leading to even better healing items for your journey. Worst case scenario, you bring up incompatible items and you’ll receive a Mistake, which can be sold for money! Tayce T. is the best. Too bad she can’t cook something to insta-whoop Bowser’s spiky bum. But, speaking of our lovely elders…

Oh great, what is he gonna ask for this time...
Helping the elderly: When the Mushroom Kingdom isn’t in grave danger (so, roughly three days out of every month), people like to help each other. You could lend a hand, too! One of our most enduring elders, Koopa Koot down at Koopa Village, always needs aid with something. Go by! We’re seriously sick of dealing with the guy. He always has some requests to make, to the point where you’ve gotta wonder if he’s not trying to abuse of everyone’s niceness. He also pays like a miser… well, sometimes he hands out Star Pieces, so there’s that. Also, he keeps losing everything. It’s time we put that old windbag in the retirement home. Other than that, you can also…

July 23, 2021

Paper Mario (Part 3)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Now that we’re technically halfway into the adventure, with far more to discuss, I figured it was time to do an aside.

What To Do In The Mushroom Kingdom: A Tourist’s Video Guide, Pt. 1

Heeey~ so it’s your first time visiting the Kingdom? No? But it just doesn’t feel the same? I getcha. Our landmass changes a lot every couple years, even the Toads keep getting lost. Places disappear, new ones appear. This guide’s gonna be outdated by the next Mario game. But since you’re here now, visiting, I figured you’d like to know some of the stuff you can find currently, and what sort of fun you can get up to. Oh, just ignore the giant clown car in the sky with two castles stacked on top like a bad wedding cake, it’s no biggie.

One of those shops has a rather... uh...
aggressive marketing campaign.
Badges
: What would be a tourism visit without some badges that say “Hey, I’ve been there!”? Well, fear not, we’ve got you covered. Across the land you can find a wide, wide variety of badges (our most recent number says 80) to equip to yourself. Some will add a jingle to your actions, changing the normal FX you’d get from doing something. Several of them will also greatly help you out if you want to see more of the Kingdom, as it can be a pretty dangerous place at times! Like now...

You will find most of these in the wild, but they’re also sold in at least two shops: One in Toad Town, the other on the upper floor of the fortune teller Merluvlee’s place near Shooting Star Summit. That one uses a special currency called Star Pieces, I’ll get back to that in a moment. We’ve yet to think of something to give to a daring soul that somehow finds all the existing badges, so “catching them all” isn’t necessary – but the more you have, the more options you’ve got to brave the wilderness!

These? Oh, that's just the ones pinned to my
red shirt. I got 50 more in the collection.

July 19, 2021

Paper Mario (Part 2)

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Continuing from Part 1, we’re about to jump into…

Chapter 2: The Mystery of Dry, Dry Ruins

Hey, it's Mario who does the stomping here!
Mario returns to Toad Town, now accompanied by Goombario, Kooper and Bombette. You know, I’ve always seen parties of characters in turn-based combat RPGs as teams that would probably be awesome to watch in situations where they’re not bound by turn-based mechanics. With Mario as the leader, and everyone contributing their abilities, they could be an unstoppable team of heroes! Alas, that’s not how it works.

Oh yeah, and on the way back, they encounter Jr. Troopa again. The little shit has learned a new skill, where he becomes impervious to some attacks by hiding in his shell. Ah, I hate that kid. I vote to nickname him Little Shit for the remainder of the review. Anyone opposes the motion? No? That’s settled. He IS a nasty little bully, I consider the nickname appropriate.

Alright, time to gear up before we go out to
find our next Spirit.

July 18, 2021

New Feature: The Index Page

Hey there!

To go with Planned All Along's 8th anniversary, I've decided to add a new page to the blog. I've already shared it around here and there, but now I'm making an official post about it:


This is where you can go to find a full list of all the video games that have been reviewed on the blog, in alphabetical order. It also includes a list at the bottom for other media (such a movies, in the case of VGFlicks and the occasional review of a film I just saw in theaters, like the article on Space Jam: A New Legacy that I published yesterday). It's a very long list, so read through and see if there are any gams on the list that you'd like to know about.

I spent a few days working on this new page, hoping to have it ready before the 19th of July (which is when the blog was created, in 2013). I figured it would be cleaner and more interesting to view than the reviews posted in chronological order, on the Archive page.

Of course, the Paper Mario review will resume tomorrow with parts posted (if all goes right) on the next Mondays and Fridays, so on the 19th, 23rd, 26th and 30th.

After that point... I'll probably review more Steam games.