|System: DSi (DSiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
The ongoing bitter rivalry between Nintendos big, unfortunately named ape and its mushroom-chomping, mustached plumber has resurfaced once again and its as fiery as ever. In recent years, the battleground may have moved from the GBA, to the DS, and now on to the DSi, but the ire between the two has yet to be quenched. Opening a new chapter in the heated feud, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! serves up another substantial helping of on-the-go puzzle gameplay starring a small army of cute little robotic Mini Marios.
Billed as a sequel to Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March of the Minis 2, released a few years ago, Minis March Again! is the spitting image of its DS predecessor. If the resemblance seems a little too uncanny, its because the look, feel, and gameplay between the two are nearly indistinguishable from one another at a quick glance aside from a few exceptions. Still, entirely new levels, a few design changes, a meager price tag, and major portability make this beefy little expansion pretty enticing. Though a lot about this DSiWare title may smell like reheated leftovers to some, its still quite tasty and surprisingly filling for the 800 points youll wind up putting down for it.
Like the past entries in this puzzle series, the story in Minis March Again! hearkens back to the nostalgic, flaming barrel-jumping, scaffold-climbing days of the original Mario and Donkey Kong characters. In the second game, the brutish Donkey Kong crashes the party for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Super Mini Mario World theme park, stealing Pauline (from the original Donkey Kong game) and forcing Mario to send his wind-up toy minis in hot pursuit. This time around Donkey Kong loses his chance to check out the new park when tickets sell out just as he arrives. Miffed about that, and the fact his affections for Pauline are once again spurned, the big ape kidnaps her and takes off. For whatever reason, Mario feels compelled to let his toys do all the work.
If youve missed out on past Mario vs. Donkey Kong games, youll find the puzzle oriented gameplay to be a completely different animal from Marios platforming roots. Mario makes an appearance at the beginning, but its his Minis diminutive, wind-up toy drones that follow simple behavior patterns when set into motion that are the stars of the show here. The goal is to help all of the minis safely navigate the challenging obstacle course laid out before them in each level, while collecting stars, coins, extra lives, and letters. To complete a level, all Minis must reach the exit within a set amount of time.