Posted by: bkupa666 | September 22, 2009

Bowser's Keep – Mr. Video Game

Page 86

Mario SkylerOcon

You’ve definitely hyped up this set more than Vaati or V-13 during its production in the chat.  As I didn’t read the full set until you showed me its preview, I had no idea what to expect for the most recognizable plumber of all time.  I wondered whether you were merely remaking Mario or pulling out that long-requested Power-Ups Mario.  Well, after a long period of suspense, Mario finally jumps into MYM.  Let’s see how he fares against your other sets and in the contest overall.

The Rundown: Fireball just had to be in there; it’s nice to see that you aren’t just cutting moves because they existed in Smash Mario, although a few later moves are more questionable to keep around.  It’s great to finally see Cape used like it was in SMW.  You’re definitely right that Mario needs a truer-to-character moveset.  However, does Mario have a glide attack?  Seeing F.L.U.D.D.’s charge have more uses than merely gimping is refreshing; Hover and Rocket Nozzle are nice to see in there with the Brawl Squirt Nozzle…but do we really need all four nozzles?  I love SMS, but there is a lot more of Mario that could be represented in there without sacrificing playstyle.

Having Baby Yoshi as a basic combo is cute and a nice representation of SMW (a game that needs more acknowledgment).  Wouldn’t it be more fitting if the Yoshi helped Mario with combos, though?  I know Mario could proceed to ram the spit-stunned foe with his Dash Attack, but maybe if the Yoshi could be used as a less-laggy combo move, it would justify its placement in there a bit more.  I don’t really like the tilts, seeing as how the F-Tilt and D-Tilt are representing spin-off games (and even a very bad one, as you mention), which might deserve one small move, not two rather prominent ones.  U-Tilt is a nice juggling move, but it doesn’t really fit in with Mario’s ‘fitting’ style now.  It just tells me that you are aiming to make Mario what he should’ve been in Brawl, not remake his entire set to be original.  Not that there’s a whole lot wrong with that, but it would be nice to have the same juggling properties on a more accurate aspect of Mario in here.

Finally, finally, Mario gets his trademark hammer in there.  The star and action command meter are nice little easter eggs, although I don’t know if I like the hammer head addition.  Just one of those random things that don’t really add to the character much.  U-Smash seems a little strange, but I’m not opposed to it at all.  An anti-air move with priority is something Mario rather needs in Brawl.  D-Smash is a reference I love…at least there’s this SMB3 reference in there (where’s my Tanookie and Frog suits?).  Having it shield Mario from everything, but give him extra damage from above, is a nice touch.  I don’t know how others will respond to these ‘extra-effect’ style moves, but I certainly don’t mind it.  Although this is one of Hades’ flaws…

The ‘surrounding’ N-Air is a style I used for several sets, and I couldn’t agree more that it fits Mario’s comboing to a T.  F-Air’s ‘beam’ style is one that I haven’t been a fan of for those futuristic sets; don’t get me wrong, it fits Mario and his damage-racking, but it’s just a bit…meh.  B-Air is indeed a great combo move, but it just seems a little plain.  Mario does have some glove moves from RPG, doesn’t he?  It would rep that great game while still giving him the same combo starter.  I agree with MW that U-Air is a great juggling move, like U-Tilt, but couldn’t it be something with the same effect but more new and unique?  Mario doesn’t have to resort to prop-heavy nothingness to do so; it’s freakin’ Mario.  I’m not gonna beat this around too much, but I’ve seen complaints about it here and there, and it is something that needs to be touched on.  Giving Mario back his tornado though is all too fitting; he has that in all three of his big console games.  Throwing in Luma as a visual touch is an all-too-cool Galaxy shoutout.  It makes me question why they didn’t keep that as his Brawl Down Special when it’s his main attack in the more recent Galaxy.

Grab is OK, although I might give it just a bit more range if I were you.  Just a personal thing.  All of Mario’s throws are fitting, but I’ll touch on the ones I enjoyed most.  Ground Pound is one I used for Shadow Mario way back when, and it’s another console Mario move I am surprised not to see in Brawl.  I guess stupid ol’ Sakurai just wants to keep Mario as the ‘balanced’ character, rather than the combo character we know he is.  B-Throw from 64 is nice to see back as an alternate KO move; definitely a better returning move choice than U-Tilt and U-Air.  Finally, I know just how much Final Smashes bore you.  Having a hitstun buff is all Mario’s Final Smash needs to have better potential, although I still stand by my feelings from pre-Brawl; Mario needs a more fitting Final Smash.  As this was your aim with this moveset, I’m a little surprised not to see something new, but whatever.  There are a lot of nice move choices in here, but some I find a bit questionable.

Detail: Definitely an Ocon set.  The readability and move descriptions are top notch; there’s not really that much to complain about here.  It looks a bit strange in places to have short one-liners for move descriptions with a larger paragraph beneath it.  I might merge a few that are not separated by pictures, although this is far from high priority.  To avoid sounding repetitive…let’s move right off this easy section.

Playstyle: This is one thing about the moveset that I think is a bit of a hindrance to it overall.  It’s not a new moveset playstyle; it’s merely making Mario’s existing playstyle as a combo character more accurate, with fan-service power-up moves in there to attract readers.  That said, you do a great job of keeping and making combo moves that add to the playstyle, even though they aren’t that pleasant to see on a ‘new’ moveset for Mario.  There aren’t any areas where I feel Mario strays from the playstyle you gave him, which is great for consistency.  It’s just that Mario doesn’t really feel expanded on; while expansion for expansion’s sake is something I frown on, it just gets a bit drab to have a character bursting at the seams with potential reduced to his Brawl comboing playstyle.

Fitting to Character: It’s Mario; you have many of his most memorable weapons and power-ups in there while staying consistent to the playstyle.  If you solely focus on this category, you could bash that Mario has generic punches and grabs over some other famous power-ups.  However, I think it goes without saying that playstyle takes priority over fitting to character nearly every time.  It’s good to see you not caving in to pressure for in-character moves that don’t follow playstyle…although Frog Suit Jump over Rocket Nozzle is an intriguing possibility…

Extras: Dang, man, those must’ve taken some serious effort.  Ah well, I’ll comment on the music in here to broaden this section out a bit.  Taunts are meh; F.L.U.D.D. swap is used in the moveset, mustache-stroking is infuriating for opponents, and Yoshi jump is nostalgic.  Costumes are all fitting, and some are humorous (There Will Be Brawl Mario is lulzy).  Now…music.  Auto-fail for not having Do the Mario in there.  Seriously, you’ve got some excellent choices in there.  Let’s go through a music rundown.

Theme Tune is classic, you’ve gotta have that, as I have on my iPod (h).  I was the one who suggested Devastation’s Doorway IIRC, and even if not, kudos for pulling it out.  Koopa’s Road is my fav Mario tune of all time, and my second favorite Mario remix of all time.  Bowser Final Battle theme is epic as all hell…but it’s strange to have in with Mario.  If this were Bowser Remix (or at least, a good Bowser Remix, sorry DFM), it would be perfect, but I don’t follow your belief that Brawl music has to be fighting related.  Granted, you don’t have to go pick out Ai No Uta and such songs, but it would be nice to have a wider variety of Mario music that isn’t as hardcore.  Platforms A Plenty is a great little a capella theme from SMS; I’m glad to see its inclusion.  Athletic Level is amazing from SMW, and it’s no surprise it was the SMW song they included in Melee.  Chill is an interesting choice; I certainly wouldn’t associate it with Mario, although the remix is sweet.  A nice obscure inclusion.  I’m unfamiliar with the SMRPG piece, although the electric guitar sounds pretty badass in there.

The third Mario theme in there is my least favorite of the three, but that’s not to say it’s bad by any means.  Holy…Dire…Dire…Fucking…Docks.  One of the best Mario themes out there in an amazing remix, although I do prefer Sunken Suite to this guitar deviation.  Two more amazing Bowser remixes that should have slightly less priority than, say, some SMB2 or 3 music, or some non-boss Galaxy music.  Still, they are fucking awesome, coming from a Bowser fanboy.  Closing on the In the Castle Walls remix, the organ is right at home in there.  There are a few pieces I feel rather missed out (excluding Paper Mario music, which I bet will be in there), but nothing you have feels blatantly OOC for Mario.  Having music as the new extra is 100% supported by me; it shows character and takes very little effort.  If Ocon does these extras, everyone should.

Organization: Not a whole lot to cover here.  The colors and headers are very Mario appropriate, and are still easy enough to read.  I already displayed my personal gripe about some wonky paragraph formations, but that’s not a big issue.  Having damage %s at the beginning of the move is rather helpful, although it would be nice to see the move names highlighted for better distinction.  Other than that, the set is viewtiful.  I especially like the Mario picture you used; where did you find an image of such beauty?

Closing Comments: Mario is a set that has a lot of different opinions going around about it.  People seem to say that it’s either better or worse than Vaati, or on equal ground with him.  Indeed, Mr. Nintendo has reasons to be placed on all three levels.  I’m going to have to stay with the third opinion.  Mario doesn’t seem as ground-breaking, but I feel that his execution exceeds Vaati quite nicely.  When it comes down to it, I’ll most likely vote both.  Good job Ocon; can’t wait to see what you and Wizzerd do with Paper Mario.

My work here…is done.



  1. Rool will kill you for the pseudo-move-by-move. (d)

  2. Thanks for the review! :3

    Well, I kept the Uair/Utilt in the set because A) They’re favorites of Mario mains and B) They’re just… incredibly Mario. ESPECIALLY the Up Tilt. They may not have made an appearance in the actual Mario games, but they’re both very easy things to see Mario doing.

    I thought about using the Frog suit in the Up Special, but I instead decided to make the FLUDD almost a theme of Mario – I choose the Rocket Nozzle over the Frog Suit because it promotes playstyle and it would make the FLUDD seem a lot less like a random prop.

    Actually, MT (I think), corrected me on this, the Down Tilt is from Mario 64, not DDR Mario Mix. My bad! I put the Forward Tilt in because I was in desperate need of a forward tilt that wasn’t Mario’s current boring kick, and despite that this still is a boring kick, it’s a very playstyle-enhancing kick. The Neutral Combo probably would’ve been better off if I had it work different (maybe having Yoshi come up, shoot out his tounge, then move back down?) and not be a spacer/comboer, and rather just a straight up combo move.

    The hammer head on the FSmash was put in to make the move Mario’s annoying move. Like how Dedede has his DThrow, and MK has his tornado? Thats what I was going for there. The up smash was a move that didn’t contribute to the playstyle per se, but it gave Mario something that he definitely could use that would help his game overall.

    The Fair was put in to give Mario some much needed range and to give him a move that will actually, you know, end combos. The Back Air is one of my favorite moves, actually… I don’t get why everybody doesn’t like it <_<

    I had a lot of the fun with the throws, and my favorite two are probably the FThrow and DThrow. The Up Throw was put in because I couldn't think of anything else, and wanted to stress the importance of the FLUDD even further.

    I found the Mario image on deviantart. Didn't expand Mario's playstyle, because it was a remix of Mario… not a re-do. I don't really see the point of calling your set a remix if you take away the very core of it :p

  3. Oh, I’ve come to accept that it’s a staple of Kupa reviews, and forgive him for it because he makes so many. 😉

  4. The Mario image looks like the one used for Super Nuke Bros. Melee or whatever it’s being called these days…

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