Can I use Mario’s Time Machine to get that pair of hours in my life back? Please?
After all, Software Toolworks made this – it wasn’t subcontracted to Radical Entertainment!
I was wrong… DEAD wrong.
The Super Nintendo version of ‘Mario’s Time Machine’ tried to drain my very soul as I played it. As I progressed, each level felt like my intelligence was lowering point by point, and I don’t think I can get those lost points back again.
Unlike the NES game, there is no actual reason for Mario to invade Bowser’s fortress – Mario cites something about how the space-time continuum will be distorted and changed about if he doesn’t return everything before… um… something happens. And, so, Mario charges forward, returning 15 items back to their appropriate times before something unspecified happens. Kinda.
You see, this game features the least-disguised educational moment in all four of the console-based Edutainment Mario games (not counting the ones made for Preschoolers). To know what time and place Mario has to return each item to, the player has to play Mad-Libs (or fill-in-the-blank, depending on which generation you’re from) with homework.
Yes, the game doesn’t even TRY to cover up the fact that the player is doing school work. And on top of that, all the words are pre-supplied, and the player then has to select them from a list. When all the blanks are filled, the player then activates Bowser’s French horn-based time machine…
…and is sent into a surfing minigame.
Yes, apparently Software Toolworks decided to have Bowser’s time machine represented by a surfing minigame.
In a moment of a sheer lapse in judgment, it turns out that the entire machine is powered by the same mushrooms that allow Mario to grow to a gigantic size – I suppose they’re multipurpose by this point in time or something. In any case, collecting ten of those allows Mario to go back in time… by hurling himself into a whirlpool. And this is if you avoided those mines or urchins that drain your mushroom count to zero.
While I question the logic of killing one’s self to go back in time, I can’t complaint entirely because it works. After dropping down into the nothingness, Mario shoots out into the time the player programmed into the machine.
By this time, the player has to be questioning what’s going on – Mario has just spawned in a heavily pixilated… yet decent looking… background. Our favorite portly plumber must now find the person that the random item belongs to – by searching every single possible doorway and house and what-have-you available.
If the player is able to find the person the item belongs to, then the historical person thanks Mario – and we get a cheesy joke or three along the way. Pressing the time machine button once more, Mario sends himself back into the future to do it all over again.
“But Newtype!” you say, “there must be a boss battle or something, like we got in the NES version, right? Maybe even Koopa Troopas terrorizing the historical places?”
To you, dear reader, I say thee nay. Not only is the past Koopa-free, but you don’t even fight against Bowser in the end. Instead, the player gets one of two endings, depending on what they did:
Bad Ending: Mario charges in just in time to see Bowser run off to ‘Paradise 1993 A.D.’ Bowser’s time machine then sets to ‘Overload 1993 A.D.’ and explodes. The game then tells you that, though you foiled Bowser’s plot, you didn’t return every item IN THE EXACT RIGHT ORDER – so Bowser escaped!
Good Ending: Mario charges in just in time to see Bowser run off to ‘Paradise 1993 A.D.’ again… but this time, the machine malfunctions and Bowser is sent back to the era of the dinosaurs. The game then congratulates you for getting your worst enemy to basically commit suicide.
Either ending, though, Bowser looks horrified. Even in the bad ending, Bowser looks panicked and worried, like he’s going to die any second. And I actually felt that while playing this game as well – as if this game was going to kill me before I finished it, the boredom was that great.
This is THE worst game I’ve ever played in my entire life. Even the NES version of this game is far better – actually containing things that make a Mario game a Mario game, rather than this poor excuse for a game PERIOD.
Avoid this game at all costs – I don’t care what you need to do. The pain I received from this game is just… not… worth it. Run away. Run far, far away.
A whopping 1 out of 10.