Monday, July 5, 2010

[THOUGHT] Letters in Super Mario Galaxy 2

THOUGHT is a new kind of post entry that I'm going to be trying out. We all come across random bits in the games we play that have us scratching our heads from time to time. I take these thoughts and try to give them answers, as well as you closure.

I've been playing a fair share of Super Mario Galaxy 2 lately (close to 60 stars, World 6) and I always check with the Mail Toad to get whatever 1-ups I can before I head out, purely because the decision to reduce your Lives back to 3 when you start up your file again is fucking backwards.

The Thought: How in bloody hell can Peach, in the custody of Bowser, be able to send letters to Mario on the Spaceship with 1-ups packaged with them? I've gotten 11 at one time. Eleven. The Toad goes so far to say how Peach is "thoughtful" in her time of dismay and misfortune.

The Response: Well, it goes hand-in-hand with my belief on video games, death and lives. The ease of acquiring multiple lives in a game is directly proportional to how easy it is to die; the more often you come across earning lives, the easier it is to die in that game. In my first play of SMG2, I logged about 6 hours, collected upwards of fifty 1-ups, and probably died about 15 times.

Sadly, it's just backwards game design. In both SMG games, your lives reset once the game was turned off; you started each play session with 5 lives. No matter how many 1-ups you earned, you always started off with 5 at the beginning of a session. I didn't get very far in SMG1, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance on the game's certain aspects. But, in SMG2, you get the aforementioned letters from Peach at the beginning of your session before you head out to replenish your lost stock of lives.

If you're handing out free lives at the beginning of each session (in the double-digits, no less), why bother resetting the life counter?