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  3. After 6 years of Dr. Mario Online Rx, the subtle differences in this game bug me

User Info: Claytronic

Claytronic
7 years ago#1
Dead board, but whatever, I just feel the need to vent.

I just downloaded this the other day as my 2014 Club Nintendo Platinum prize. I owned Dr. Mario on Game Boy growing up, and occasionally still play the SNES version with my dad when I visit him. The definitive version, in my humble opinion, is WiiWare's Dr. Mario Online Rx. Or at least, it was the definitive version until the Wii's online was scrapped this past May. While I certainly wasn't still playing it every day since its 2008 release, I would still enjoy a quick online match now and then, and was very disappointed when online matches bit the bullet.

I was aware of Dr. Luigi's existence since its December 2013 release, and was now considering making a purchase of it, if only to have an online version of Dr. Mario again. But $15? Eeeeeh, seemed a little steep to me (especially since Dr. Mario Online Rx was only $10). Downloading it for free, however, sounded much better, so I did just that (and thus own all four Year of Luigi games).

At its core, this really is just Dr. Mario Online Rx with a Luigi-fied coat of paint that can be played on the GamePad. This would be fine (inflated price tag aside), except for a series of small, and in my opinion, annoying changes that have been made.

-Removal of Miis: While not a huge part of the game by any means, their removal is odd, considering the Wii U's Miiverse is built around Mii inclusion. Miis added a dose of personality to the game, especially in Virus Buster mode, where a gang of your Miis would chase/fight against a gang of viruses on the screen as you played out the game. It was also fun to see my opponent's Mii in online matches, and I note their absence each time I play.

-Removal of comments from online matches: This one bugged me more than I thought it would. Upon matching up with my first opponent, I found myself instinctively looking for which button would active the comments to send a friendly greeting to my opponent... only to find that the option had been completely scuttled. Why? The ability to give a quick, predetermined message to my opponent (and often, receive one in exchange) before and after matches really helped to make it feel like I was playing against a human. Dr. Luigi's results screen (after a match) is silent and sterile in comparison. What I wouldn't give to toss out one more good-hearted "Neener, neener!" after winning a match..

-Removal of the "Cough" and "Sneeze" tunes: Again, why? In Online Rx, you could choose any of four tunes (Fever, Chill, Cough, Sneeze) for offline or online matches. To its credit, Dr. Luigi features two new tunes, "Dizzy" and "Drowsy", but bizarrely, only those two tunes are available in Operation L mode, and only Fever and Chill are available in Retro Remedy and Online Battles. Where's the logic there? Not to mention that having a "Random" option is almost completely pointless with just two songs to choose from. And, as a poster in another topic pointed out, they have freaking empty spaces from where two more songs COULD fit in the song selection box (and it's where they DID fit in Online RX). They literally deleted two songs and couldn't even be bothered to resize the box that houses them? Wtf?

-Victory/defeat tunes in online matches no longer carry onto the results/rematch screen: This is a minor one, to be sure, but it was enjoyable (or infuriating, if you lost) to have the victory or defeat music from the end of your match carry over to the results screen with your opponent. Now, the tune plays for all of three seconds before moving to the results screen with the standard "choose your settings" music playing.

*continued in next post
A friend of mine thought that he had an NES toploader, until I informed him that it was a Super NES.

User Info: Claytronic

Claytronic
7 years ago#2
-Forced GamePad use for single-player; no sideways Wii Remote option except for a second player: This one is just silly. Why in the world can't I use a sideways Wii Remote to play in retro and online mode, like in Online Rx? Fine, go ahead, turn the GamePad on if the game really insists on it, but let me use my bloody preferred control scheme that your previous version supported.

-You can now rotate pills that have fallen into a narrow gap: This is the first time in a Dr. Mario-related game that you've been able to do this, and I don't like it. Part of the charm and challenge of the series is that you're forced to make split-second decisions in order to stay alive, and have to live with the consequences if your reflexes are not up to snuff. The ability to avoid certain mistakes now by being able to inexplicably rotate vertical pills that have fallen into a valley that is only one square wide removes a level of strategy from the game, and could almost be considered a game-breaking change.

All of these changes, coupled in with a lack of people online to challenge (likely due to low sales of the Wii U console itself, along with not many of those owners willing to drop $15 on yet another version of Dr. Mario) make for a game that has me feeling somewhat let-down.

Don't get me wrong, the core gameplay of the standard Dr. Mario (retro) mode is great (except for that ridiculous change to the pill-rotating mechanic that I mentioned), Operation L takes some getting used to but is ultimately fine, and Virus Buster is much more enjoyable with a touch screen than with the Wii Remote in Online Rx, but I still can't help but feel that this was a pretty lazy coat-of-paint rush job with baffling exclusions from the previous game in the series.

I realize pretty much all of my complaints are only noticeable to someone who has previously played Dr. Mario Online Rx (extensively), but I still wouldn't recommend this game at $15, even if it does have the edge over Online Rx since that game's online mode no longer functions. I'd suggest waiting for a sale of some kind, at the very least. I know I would've been more than a little miffed if I had ended up dropping full price on this one.

tl;dr - This version of Dr. Mario lacks the personality of its Wii predecessor, and makes annoying changes to both the game's options and mechanics. Wait for a sale.
A friend of mine thought that he had an NES toploader, until I informed him that it was a Super NES.

User Info: El_Mariachi_484

El_Mariachi_484
7 years ago#3
Completely agree on every point. When this came out I thought, worst case scenario it's dr Mario HD, which would have been amazing. My wife and I play dr Mario pretty regularly and it's the upgrade would have been appreciated. But after a single session of luigi we went back to Mario. It's just not as good. And why hasn't Nintendo brought back 4 player?
https://youtu.be/g-X3x4nJPDA Fun movie I made. Enjoy!

User Info: Claytronic

Claytronic
7 years ago#4
Thanks, glad to hear it's not just me. Btw, I basically copy and pasted the above complaints into my post-play survey for this game, so at least they'll reach Nintendo. As to whether or not they'll do anything to remedy them, though... (I requested a patch, but I'm certainly not going to hold my breath).

Y'know, considering all of those sloppy omissions, and the fact that this game came out on December 31st (the last day of the Year of Luigi, before Miyamoto stated that the celebrations would continue into the beginning of 2014, even if no more full Luigi-themed games were coming out), it really does strike me more and more that this game was thrown together in a couple of weeks in December and just barely released in 2013, all just to be part of the official "Year of Luigi". Bah.
A friend of mine thought that he had an NES toploader, until I informed him that it was a Super NES.
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