Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 19.03.2007 10

Review for Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis on Nintendo DS

The first Mario vs. Donkey Kong on the Game Boy Advance was a wonderful revival of the classic DK arcade games, but was sorely overlooked here in the UK on the handheld in terms of sales due to a much younger audience owning the system at the time. Now, however, with the Nintendo DS appealing to a wider demographic and giving many games a greater shot at higher sales, does its sequel actually deserve to have a better chance or should it quickly fade away? Let us take a look...

The old Donkey Kong arcade games involved the player controlling Mario (or Jumpman, depending on which version you played) and having to overcome various obstacles in order to reach the summit of each stage on offer and defeat the hairy beast to rescue the lovely Pauline. This idea is still in place, with Donkey Kong once again kidnapping poor Pauline and leaving Mario with no choice but to go on yet another mission. However, this time round Nintendo has created a game that reeks strongly of Lemmings, which is definitely a good thing. You see it is the day of the official opening of the Super Mini Mario World theme park, dedicated to the toys featured in the first Mario vs. DK on the GBA and the way Mario must reclaim the damsel in distress is by guiding many Mini Mario toys through various stages, chasing DK along the way.

Each stage starts with a quick overview pan-shot of the area and then leaves you in control of a few dormant Mini Mario toys. Rather than working like its GBA predecessor and just directly controlling Mario, you must now tap on each Mini Mario to make them start moving, then tap again to stop them. To change the direction of walking, simply stroke the stylus across them in the appropriate way, or slide upwards to make them jump. Your aim is to first of all get the Mario toys to the final goal, but to also avoid any dangers and achieve the task in the quickest time possible, whilst also ensuring all extras dotted around each stage are collected and the Mario toys enter the goal in quick succession to obtain a bigger bonus score and thus a coveted gold medal for that level.

Screenshot for Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis on Nintendo DS

Those dangers, though, come in the form of mechanical Donkey Kong characters, Piranha Plants spewing forth fireballs, various spring boards and a maze of different coloured barriers that are each activated and raised by a switch that then lowers another coloured barrier at the same time ‚Äď all of which make the main task quite treacherous at times. And, to make the game even trickier, there are points awarded for keeping a least one of the toys moving at all times, leaving you to have to quickly scroll around a stage at such a fast rate to watch everything that is going on that it can get very hectic further into the game (in a good way, though). But everything is so much fun, with toys being able to climb atop some enemies and ride across spike-laden floors, floors and walls can be repositioned around a level to block off bad guys or projectiles, then hastily moved again to prevent the toys falling to their doom. As for the boss stages, you must fire Mini Mario toys at the big ape as he dances around the top of the screen with increasing speed as the game goes on. The formula works quite nicely as well, with the stylus moving a cannon around, for instance, and then a simple tap on its centre fires off toys. With eight worlds on offer, each broken down into separate stages and a boss battle, the main game can be blown through in little over five or six hours, depending on how long you can sit through in one go.

With eight worlds on offer, each broken down into separate stages and a boss battle, the main game can be blown through in little over five or six hours, depending on how long you can sit through in one go. However, it is the clever use of medal obtaining that will bring gamers back to play through certain levels again to achieve perfection and the elusive gold medal. On top of that, you are able to use the game's level creation tool to craft your own devious stages with ease either to play on or share with others (wirelessly or via the online Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection). Grabbing new levels from others really does extend the experience considerably! All-in-all this, even with its differences, this sequel proves to definitely be the superior game.

Screenshot for Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 is a resounding success in so many ways. Taking what was an addictive platform-cum-puzzle effort from the 1980s and remixing it over the following years right up until today has ensured the formula has not grown tiresome and this DS effort is fantastic fun for anyone, young or old!

Developer

Intelligent Systems

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Nice review Raz, sounds great.

I doubt i will ever buy it, DS games never were and will be a priority for me.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clichť. They were the statement and the definition."

Clearly there has been good word of mouth, it's at no.10 on the UK Top 40 Full Price and jumped 20 places on the All Price Chart.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clichť. They were the statement and the definition."

Yup, just been looking at that performance myself - great to see considering the GBA game flopped. Perhaps Nintendo should do something about getting the proper Lemmings on the DS at some point...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

nice review Raz, it soudns pretty good, i love the first game on GBA... so im really looking forward to this!!! :D

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

Thanks AHA - just beware of the difference. Think about how you had to save some Mario toys in the first one and expand it into a Lemmings theme.

The touch-screen controls work far better than I could have imagined! NST deserves a pat on the back, definitely.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I can't justify spending for this. There's too many things nowadays for me to splurge on games like this. I have to save for a 360, Wii controllers, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid 3, Super Smash Brawl, Pokemon Diamond, God of War II...ARGH!! Why couldn't they release some of those NOW and spread them out!

Great review, another DS game i HAVE to pick up.

''Nintendo has created a game that reeks strongly of Lemmings, which is definitely a good thing''

So essentialy they've ripped off Lemmings but since its Nintendo its ok?

Enoch Powell was right, and you know it.

Slight moan, it's a shame you can't Bulk-Download levels. Other than that, cracking game!

(But if you have the chance, do pick up #1 as well. You'll probably find it amongst the pre-owned. It's more a strict puzzle-platformer than this one's platform-strategy... If that makes any sense!)

Socoder.net - Where making games is fun!

Cool. I just bought the game yesterday! At first, I didn't really like how you now have to use your stylus. But after reading this, I will give it another chance.

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