When it comes to post-apocalyptic zombie adventures you usually think of The Walking Dead. Crossed gives the reader a fantastic adventure in a different way than most zombie comics do. We’re not getting the entire picture or seeing a group of people trying to save the world. We get a slice of life pieces in different time periods and the actual “zombie” virus is never explained, just theorized. The first 40 chapters range from different time periods of the virus invasion of the crossed. The whole comic saga is made up of 4-6 issue mini-series and some are picked back up later on.
The best part of the series is the gore and gruesome detail. There’s tons of nudity, sex, rape, murder, torture, and everything you would expect in a zombie apocalypse. The art is graphics, detailed, and gorgeous. You can tell real dead bodies and gore was used as a reference because I have never seen a comic with this much realistic detail. The crossed are ruthless, kill and have sex with everything in sight, and love pain. It’s passed on via bodily fluids and that’s all we know. There’s no cure, no stopping or slowing it down.
Honestly, there was never a name for the virus either and I kind of like that. The virus is a mystery throughout and everyone is just trying to survive the best they can and hoping to wait for the crossed to die out. There was one problem with this series and that was issue 40-60 or so. These 20 issues must have forgotten what the whole series was about and became more about internal non-crossed affairs and the crossed took a back seat. It got boring and really annoying, but after around issue 60, it did pick back up.
Overall, Crossed: Badlands is one of the best comic series I have ever read, but it’s not for the light-hearted. This is a graphic, gruesome, and extremely explicit series but that’s what I love about it. You won’t find a single comic this insane.
MOOORRTTAALLL KOOOMMBBAATTT!!! Mortal Monday made gaming history when the original arcade game hit the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Super Nintendo in 1992. Fast forward 23 years later and people still get just as excited for every new Mortal Kombat game. MKX is a near reboot of the reboot from 2011 by improving nearly every aspect of the game including online. This is the first Mortal Kombat game for next-generation consoles and has set the bar for fighting games in terms of production values.
The first thing you will probably play is the story, it’s needed to unlock Shinnok as well as earn a slew of koins for the Krypt. The story is fantastic and the best one in any fighting game to date. The story has finally evolved past MK3 and takes place 25 years after the last game. Naturally, the original fighters have aged and are older (but still kick ass), and new generations/kids of these fighters are introduced. The story is actually shorter and more streamlined than MK9. Instead of every character being shoehorned into the story you only play as the good guys and select characters. There are about 5 matches for each character and the entire story just evolves naturally. Earthrealm is past Shao Kahn and his BS (as the players are), but Shinnok returns to claim the Komidogu amulet and take over Earthrealm. After about 4 hours or so you will get the hang of the entire fighting system and start kicking ass.
Once you finish the story you will most likely go into the Krypt to spend your koins. Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the Krypt is a fan service full of goodies and unlocks to prolong the game and make you earn everything. Character art, Fatalities, costumes, and fan art are many among the Krypt, but it has evolved. Instead of just a large room, you unlock coffins in its first-person adventure that’s its own mini-game. Players can walk around an entire set of levels finding hidden objects to unlock new parts of the mini-game to find more koffins. At certain times koffins will appear (think of the concept from Deception in the Konquest mode) and random enemies will attack when a quick time event will pop up. Succeed and you are awarded a few hundred koins. This new Krypt idea could stand on its own if it were fleshed out more and is actually quite atmospheric and can be tense.
After the Krypt you will most likely check out the Faction Wars. This is a whole new online concept by Netherrealm that extends the Tower concept that was enacted in the first game. There are many different Tower modes with the first being Living Towers. Using the match modifiers that were introduced in MK3 and reimagined in MK9, Living Towers will mix up a random modifier as well as Tower goals. Certain matches will award koins for accomplishing certain things during a match like Jumping 25 times or finishing a match with more than 50% health. There are three types of Living Towers. Daily, Hourly, and Premier which are every 5 days. This adds to your Faction War points which will help you when an Invasion starts. At the beginning of the game, you get to choose from five factions. Lin Kuei, Brotherhood of Shadows, White Lotus, Special Forces, and Black Dragon. Faction XP can be awarded during an Invasion as well by fighting an immortal boss. Players have 30 seconds to do as much damage as they can but the difficulty of the boss is set to Very Hard. Invasion Towers are another way as well.
These Towers also carry over into single-player as Tower Challenges which is a randomized Tower with modifiers and Test Your Might matches. Your final score is set and you can send that Tower to a friend to have them beat your score. It’s a lot of fun and extends the longevity outside of online play.
With the modes out of the way, let’s talk about the actual game. The control and responsiveness are so much better than any other MK game. MK9 tried to recreate the feeling of the first three MK games, and it got stale after a while. MKX is a whole new beast with the core familiar mechanics at play. Balancing is also nearly perfected in MKX thanks to combat variants. Each fighter has three different variants they can play as and this sets their special moves. Instead of some characters having a long list of special moves to spam you with, they are limited this time around and cut down. Every player will have their favorite variant after playing for so long.
Outside of variants, the fighting is a little more cinematic. The camera zooms in on throws and the new X-Ray moves. X-Rays are now three hits instead of two and the models are much more detailed. More bones break, individual organs are modeled, and fibers on the muscles have depth. It looks fantastic and this is by far the most brutal MK game to date. The Fatalities are the best in any game and are just awesome. New tech allows for facial animations with twitching eyes, lips, and overall detailed gore. Organs are split in half and they actually look like their organs unlike previous games with generic gibs. Brutalities made a return, but they are no longer the complicated button press like MK3. Certain requirements must be met in a match such as having 50% health remaining, connecting a number of certain moves in a match, and hitting the right button combo during the final hit of the last round. Brutalities are now variations of special moves but have a twisted deadly ending that throws opponents off guard and is extremely satisfying to pull off and watch.
The new characters are actually the best new fighters in the series. All are fun to play and all are distinctive, unlike previous entries where new characters felt like cheap rip-offs. Among them, Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, Ferra/Tor, D’Vorah, and Erron Black are my favorites. Kung Jin and Takeda aren’t exactly the unique characters they succeed which are Kenshi and Kung Lao. They both look and feel nearly identical despite having different weapons. Takeda is actually similar to Scorpion more than Kenshi as he uses dual whips and Kung Jin has a bow and staff. Unique weapons, but their characters aren’t fleshed out much in the story mode.
With that said, MKX is an evolution of the series that it so desperately needs. The longevity that’s smart and isn’t bloated content, more online features, and the variants are hopefully here to stay. This is one of the best fighting games of the decade.
Kollector’s Edition: For $90 more you can receive a special box, a Scorpion statue, the Kombat Pass, and a Scorpion skin. The statue is made by a sculptor Coarse and the skin is of the statue. It’s beautifully made and well worth it for collectors. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity.
If you loved Super Meat Boy you should check this game out. Will love it as much? Probably not. TBP is all about a little girl who picks up some mysterious cursed book that turns her into a demon in her dreams. The game has a Lovecraftian style, but the same 8-bit graphics as Super Meat Boy. The game features twitch reflex platforming and combat.
The platforming is simple enough with abilities to double jump and clings to walls, but the game requires mastering the controls to maneuver through nigh impossible paths that require pixel-perfect timing. The combat is actually what brings this game down so much. The developers tried to make it too complicated. Hitting the attack button doesn’t really do much damage to enemies which is stupid. You also don’t get a multiplier if you use a standard attack. They want you to be “creative” and use the dash attack, knock them into obstacles, and use the high kick. I know, these kinds of moves don’t belong in this kind of game. The combat system is just convoluted and requires too much thinking for a game that relies on instinct and muscle memory responses. After a platforming section, I start wailing on an enemy and realize I have to think about this combat system. It hurts my brain and really messes with the momentum of the otherwise solid platforming and controls.
There is a neat checkpoint system that allows you to put it wherever you want. If you get enough purple orbs you can fill up your checkpoint meter and stay still for a while. This will place a checkpoint at that spot allowing you to save them for complicated platforming sections. This alleviates the frustrating combat that leads to some cheap deaths. If you do well enough on a level you can unlock special stages that are from the iOS version and user-created.
With all of this combined They Bleed Pixels is great if it weren’t for that combat system. You just can’t stop and think about fighting when you are on a good platforming run. The custom checkpoint system helps remove some of that frustration, but in the end, I just want to hit an enemy a few times and be done. Even having to do the complicated moves just to flip switches is pretty annoying. If you can look past this you will enjoy this game, but most people will just stick with Super Meat Boy.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Deadly Alliance on the GBA? Puh-lease. Don’t criticize the game just yet. Deadly Alliance for GBA is a solid fighter with a trick 3D fighting system that is simplified from the console versions. The game features a full Krypt, mini-games, and a new Survival mode. The graphics are surprisingly good and the sound quality is excellent.
Unlike past Mortal Kombat handheld ports, this game is actually good. The fighting system is a mix of 2D and 3D with each character’s 2 main martial arts stances (the weapon stance was taken out). The fighting system may seem dumbed down or too simple because the GBA only has two face buttons. Using a combo of the D-pad and face buttons you can pull off some great combos with ease. The whole transition feels natural and hand-tailored to the console. My main disappointment is the lack of characters. Only about 10 made it into the GBA version, but a new character, Sareena, made it into the game from Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. I am also disappointed that each character only has one Fatality (like in the console version), but they are different and quite detailed for a GBA game.
The sound quality is excellent with the announcer’s voice intact. The graphics are pretty decent with full 3D backgrounds, but they are very muddy and lack any detail. The graphics are a love/hate type of thing. The Test-You-Might and Sight are fully intact here which is nice, but the Konquest mode is obviously missing, but instead, there is a Survival mode that was stuck in here. There is a full Krypt with alternative costumes and other things. So this is a huge MK experience on the GBA and probably the best one.
If you loved Deadly Alliance or just want a solid fighter on your GBA then pick this up. There is a lot of content in here and the fighting system is solid and fluid. The graphics look pretty and the sound quality is excellent so you have no reason not to play this!
Most of the time when a sexy protagonist is on the front cover you know you’re in for a bad game. Lollipop Chainsaw is actually quite enjoyable if you look past the flaws. You play as the sexy cheerleader Juliet Starling who is part of a zombie hunting family. You must stop a goth kid from turning everyone in your high school and town into zombies. The story is pretty thin and not very interesting because the game isn’t even long enough to dish out a meaty story. With only 6 levels you’re looking for a weekend rental at best. With this being a Suda 51 game you can also expect crazy out the you-know-what. The game is oozing with style and visual eye candy, but is it any good?
The answer is yet, but with flaws. The first issue is combat. There are plenty of combos you can buy and unlock at chop2shop.com stations. You can buy health and other items like art, threads, and music. Once you start unlocking more combos the game is more diverse, but Juliet doesn’t feel like the limber cheerleader she should be. Basic attacks use her pom-poms, but it takes forever to make a zombie groggy enough for a chainsaw kill. I rarely used basic attacks and just stuck to chainsaw attacks. Her chainsaw is cumbersome, and the combat system in general needs more polish. I felt like I was controlling a giant fat guy rather than a nimble girl. Her animations are too long and you get constantly knocked back which means tapping B to recover every time. The combat is just sluggish and not as limber as games like Tomb Raider or Bayonetta.
The combat is even flawed with the chainsaw blaster. Aiming the thing is a pain because it always sticks to enemies like there’s a magnet. I can’t go for precise headshots or aim at barrels. You can use Nick Tickets which are special mini-games that use Nick’s head (her headless boyfriend) as a weapon. These are pretty crazy and funny like shooting his head out of a cone-like topper or swinging him around on a rope among others. You can use your rainbow power to become invincible for a while and start sparkle hunting. If you kill three or more zombies in a row you will a trippy girly pose scene of Juliet and earn bonus coins.
The combat is obviously the main focus because there’s not much else here. There are a few mini-games like pole dancing, jumping on zombie heads, and the few mini-games that are level specific, as well as a few chainsaw dash areas. The 6 levels are interesting and keep things mixed up, but it’s the bosses that are all different and interesting. Each one has some sort of musical skill from a different genre of music. Having to kill them is awesome and full of gore and guts which you will see plenty of.
Lastly, the graphics are not technically impressive but have lots of visual flairs. The blood from zombies flows pink with rainbows, sparkles, and stars flying out. The game is very girly but appeals to men due to the sex appeal and violence. Juliet herself is hard to like and is not as memorable as other females like Lara Croft or Bayonetta. She’s a dingy preppy cheerleader and is the exact stereotype of one. Nick says funnier things than she does, but the sayings just get repetitive and annoying after a while. Juliet is hard to like because she acts dumb, and is weak and selfish personality-wise. The game just isn’t long enough to flesh out the characters and story more.
After you beat the game there’s no reason to back except for ranking mode to beat scores and unlock new stuff. The game has a lot of potential but needs some more polish before it can sit among the action/adventure kings like God of War, Tomb Raider, and Bayonetta. The combat is sluggish and cumbersome, the game is short, and the characters aren’t developed as well as they could have been. There is tons of visual flair, but the game is lacking technically with some low-resolution textures and poor lighting effects. Lollipop Chainsaw is fun for a weekend, but nothing more.
Shank had a great idea but was poorly executed with extreme difficulty, sluggish controls, and monotonous combat. The story was interesting with lots of gore and boobs, but there wasn’t much beyond this. Shank 2 tones down the difficulty a tad, improves controls and adds a few things to combat, but the story this time is lame, the voice acting sucks, and the game is even shorter. How Klei screwed up the sequel so much is beyond me.
As Shank, you still have your shanks, but there are a few new weapons. You can use Molotov’s and landmines as projectiles this time. The sledgehammer is a new one, but you also get to play as Corina for one level and she has her own weapons. I would have liked to see more new weapons, but if you count the turret sections then that could be a new one. The combat is exactly the same as the last game, but the controls seem to respond a bit more and that annoying knockback effect isn’t in effect as bad here because you can at least jump as soon as you get knocked back. The pickup button is no longer the dodge button so you can save your tequilas for when you really need them and not accidentally drink them.
My main disappointment is that the boss fights aren’t as interesting and are pretty easy. They all play out the same, and the final boss is a cakewalk compared to Shank’s final boss which was a serious pain. There are some environmental elements added where you can press buttons and certain things will damage enemies or open traps. This can help you in a pinch when you’re surrounded. Weapon pickups are a new feature, but most of these are useless except the large ones, and this includes large items that can be thrown.
The levels seem a bit shorter and the game can be beaten in just a few short hours. Besides the few combat changes, the game is actually worse than the first game due to the stupid story, and disappointing bosses. The visuals are still great with lots of gore, but the fundamental problem is that you’re just hacking away at the same enemies through every level. I would have liked to see more platforming sections or some scripted events, but those are very rare in this game.
Overall, Shank 2 is a fun game to go through thanks to the lowered difficulty, but you won’t get the same satisfaction when beating tough and interesting bosses. The combat and controls have been improved a lot, but the newly added elements like weapon pickups feel almost useless. The story is lame with bad voice acting, and the game can be beaten in a few short hours. Fans of the first game (the few that there are) should go ahead and pick this up, but people who held off on the last can skip this one too.
Shank is an artistically stunning game about a man named Shank (voiced by the same man who voiced Kratos in God of War) who is trying to get revenge on the death of his girlfriend. It doesn’t quite go according to plan, but he heads for the people responsible anyway. The game has gory melee combat with a tad bit of platforming. The game can be beaten in less than 4 hours, but by the end, you will have wished it ended long before that.
The combat consists of light attacks (your shank), heavy attacks (weapons that are picked up like the chainsaw, katana, chains, and machetes), as well as three different guns for distance combat. You can toss grenades to clear crowds, but that’s pretty much all there is to the combat. There really aren’t any combos to learn, or gain, which is a shame because by the end of the first couple of levels you will get bored with the combat. There are problems despite the hacking being fast-paced. Sometimes the controls will feel a bit sluggish when trying to counter people behind you, and when you get knocked back you can get bounced around by multiple enemies with no way to get back up until it stops. This really frustrated me throughout the game. I always felt like I wasn’t 100% in control of Shank. Even some of the weapons had problems like the shotgun only firing a couple of rounds, but then he puts the gun away, and during this animation you are vulnerable. The problem is you’re not even done shooting it so he has to take it back out. Things like this crop up while you are playing, and by the end, you just have had enough. There is some minor platforming, but it’s not very challenging and feels like just some lame filler content.
One major issue was that the health pickup button was the light attack button. Who’s bright idea was this? During boss fights, this poses a real problem when you are trying to conserve health and then you accidentally use a light attack near the pickup and drink it. Other than this other problems consist of repetitive boss fights, but the few that are different are the only things that break up the monotony. The visuals change between levels, but other than that you just get bored. I wish there was a level-up system or some way to earn combos. Hacking and slashing enemies in a gory fashion only is fun for so long until you want more. Hell, even some more varied level design would have been nice, but no such thing exists here.
Overall, Shank provides a mediocre story that barely keeps your interest. The game has a beautiful art style but is lacking in design change, and the combat is very shallow and monotonous. This game had a lot of potentials, but what is here is enough for a quick play through then you will forget about it. Even playing again in different costumes isn’t enough to drudge through this repetitive side-scroller.
I have to come right out and say that The Darkness II is disappointing and takes away more good from the first than adds to it. The first game is one of my favorite games of all time because of the amazing atmosphere and linear open world that was delivered with trickling story elements that kept you wanting more. This allowed constant banter between Jackie and The Darkness, but it was that dark eerie atmosphere that kept me wanting more. The side quests were nice and there were some varied environments. The Darkness II takes all that away and makes this a more linear in-your-face type of game. Sure, the storytelling is superb and so is the voice acting, but that linear open world allowed you to explore things on your own.
The Darkness II is about The Darkness finally waking itself back up inside Jackie and he is on the hunt to find Jenny even though she’s dead. A cult group called The Brotherhood wants The Darkness and takes constant hits on Jackie’s mafia family. The story is great and even more deep than the first game, but once again that awesome atmosphere is exchanged for some ho-hum backdrops you fight in ranging from a warehouse, graveyard, and Carnival. What has changed here, mainly, is how you use The Darkness powers because it is the best part of the game.
You can upgrade your powers even more now by earning points by killing foes and finding relics. You can also use the environment around you to kill enemies like using fan blades, poles, chairs, barrels, you name it. The awesome gory death animations make for a visual treat, but you can also tear enemies apart with new Darkness animations and abilities. Eating hearts isn’t the peak of your powers here anymore because you can now upgrade with Darkness armor, shields, ammo producing death kills, and even using your Darkling to sick enemies.
Yes, that Darkling strategy thing that felt like Overlord is gone now. The one Darkling that follows you throughout helps you on his own, but his charming self is still there. He will still fart, pee, and curse his foes down so don’t be disappointed there. I actually preferred this because it jives with the faster-paced action. Gunplay is still a huge part of the game and so is dual-wielding. You can channel Darkness through the guns for one-shot kills, but the guns handle very nicely and are a lot of fun to use. Some other powers range from faster reloading, bigger clips when in darkness, using Swarm to stun enemies, and various other upgrades.
The whole point is to stay in the dark and this time you are thrown more than just light bulbs. The Brotherhood uses light weapons against you and will have traps and random light obstacles set up so you must take them down quickly. Staying in the dark allows you to swipe your demon arms, but you are also thrown more than just humans now. Enemies will be infused with Darkness armor that you must punch through before killing them and some of these guys are tough. Some can teleport around so there is a new level of challenge here, but the big problem is that sheer numbers are thrown at you which can be overwhelming later on.
All this doesn’t sound too bad right? Ripping a car door off and watching it fly through the air and cut someone in half. Watching your demon arms rip a body in half or pull ahead off after stunning them doesn’t seem worse. The fact is the game is really repetitive in the sense that this is all you do. Just running around killing everything in your path with really no strategy. There’s no cover system, no Darklings to use, and nothing but your demon arms and guns. The story elements are delivered wonderfully, but you can’t help but know that it’s just more killing waiting on the other end of the cutscene. The boss fights break things up, but all you do is avoid attacks and blast them to death, and to be honest, late in the game you use your guns more than demon arms because there are just too many enemies to kill at once.
On top of all this, the art style was changed to represent the comics more, which is nice, but the game isn’t technically impressive. It looks a couple of years dated and doesn’t even come with enhanced visuals on the PC. There is an extra Vendetta mode that can be played online with up to four players and introduces four characters with separate Darkness abilities and is actually quite fun. Once you finish these however you won’t be coming back.
Overall The Darkness II detracts so much from the first game that it is almost not even the same. The slower-paced trickling action is replaced with repetitive in-your-face corridor shooting that is better or worse depending on the player. This should be played by fans of the first game just to see the story playthrough, but don’t expect the masterfully created atmosphere and open-world feeling of the first game.
The Dishwasher is a strange name, but the story of Yuki is actually pretty sad and engaging. Yuki dies in the hands of the Dishwasher and is hallucinating. You play flashbacks of her in an asylum trying to find her killer, but then again she’s hallucinating and kills the wrong person. She crash lands on the Moon trying to find the person making her hallucinate and find out why this is all happening to her. There’s a lot of detail in the story so explaining too much will give spoilers. Just know the story is excellent and very engaging.
The game is all about combat which is superfluid, fast, and fun thanks to smooth and responsive controls. You will find different weapons like Cloud’s sword, a hypodermic needle, kamas, as well as a mini-gun arm attachment. You can use the right stick to use the blood dash to go through enemies and dodge them, but everything is just so fast and fun that you just forget the controller is in your hands. You can hit enemies with a light and heavy attack as well as a unique attack with B such as a grab, needle jab, or chainsaw attack depending on your weapon. After you damage an enemy enough they will have buttons flash under them. Hit it and see a brutal execution move that just looks awesome. The game is very punchy, heavy-hitting, and powerful thanks to the excellent combat system.
You can equip beads that add attributes to Yuki, you can also use magic skulls that do massive damage to enemies. I just can’t really describe how excellent the combat is until you actually play it. It’s like trying to explain how good Devil May Cry’s combat is. There’s just no way unless you actually play it. Boss fights are also fun and unique but some can be brutally difficult to beat. Dodging and twitch reactions are key to staying alive in the game, so this is no walk in the park. The game will just take your breath away by how fast-paced it is, but I guarantee your fingers will ache after a couple of levels.
The art style is just awesome with a very messy, dark, and smeary art style. It looks like you can’t tell what’s going on, but it was done in such a way that you can make everything out just fine. I love how dark and brutal the art is, so it just helps portray how helpless Yuki is. I didn’t really find much wrong with the game except the brutal difficulty. The enemy variety is pretty high and there are plenty of boss fights. After you finish Yuki’s story you can even go back and play the Dishwasher’s side so it’s like two games in one. This is probably one of the best XBLA games I have ever played and it should not be passed up.
2D platformers are always compared to a 20-year-old game known as Super Mario Bros. and they have every right to. That game was flawless and literally created the 2D platforming genre. Super Meat Boy is probably the only game in recent history that comes close to that kind of pixel-perfect jumping and tight responsive controls. SMB also has a ton of humor infused with it, and the game is a blast to play and highly addictive.
You play Super Meat Boy who is trying to save Bandage Girl from Dr. Fetus. It’s a simple story, but it’s hilarious and the cut scenes are drawn beautifully. The art style is very unique and there’s so much detail infused in this game it’s nuts. When SMB gets destroyed he splatters his meaty goodness all over the walls and it stays there. He makes a splooshing sound when running and his facial animations are very funny. There are other characters you can unlock by completing warp levels and these guys are just as detailed and have their unique abilities.
The controls in the game are what really surprised me. They’re just absolutely perfect. They are super responsive and tight and it feels like you’re controlling the characters with your fingers instead of buttons. Using the Games for Windows controller (or any other) is essential, but the keyboard works too. Jumping around corners and maneuvering through the game’s brutal levels can be conquered thanks to these tight controls. I’m dead serious about the game being hard because every corner and jump require extreme precision or you will die 30+ times. Oh sure, you’ll die that many times thanks to a quick reset button that has zero loading. What’s cool is after you beat the level you get to see a replay of every time you died, so every SMB goes off and you can follow them until the last one makes it. It’s awesome, unique, and makes you want to watch every replay and save them for friends to laugh at.
The warp levels bring the graphics back to 8-bit with amazing music and tend to be more challenging than the regular levels. Usually, you get to play the characters you will unlock, but gameplay varies in these levels. You can also find bandages in the regular levels, but these require extra extreme precision (if that’s possible), so this game is really for hardcore gamers only. Casual gamers will give up quickly and there are no difficulty levels to set. From the frantic boss fights to the constant dishing out of new obstacles to overcome the game ramps up after the first few stages, so you must stay on your toes.
With a crap ton of charming visuals, catchy music, and perfect controls the game shines above all other 2D platformers. It wouldn’t hurt to say it’s probably the best 2D platformer in the last decade, but the brutal difficulty is very forgiving thanks to the feeling of accomplishment once you trump that level. Try beating the record time to feel even better about that victory! I highly recommend SMB to any platforming fan or even fans of the 16/8 bit eras.