Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SJB Review: The Almighty Mr. Ice

Hi everyone. Today I am proud to present the second of my game reviews, and this time, it's the Korean Super Mario Bros. clone by HighMind entitled The Almighty Mr. Ice, available for iPhone and iPod Touch.
MrIceTitle.png picture by Superjustinbros
Yea. We probably know how much SMB inspired so many games, and this is one of them. But anyways, you control a guy named Mr. Ice on his quest to stop his evil look-alike, Dark Mister.
Now upon starting, you're presented with three options, "New Game," "Load Game," and "How To." Since I don't want to start the game from the very beginning, I'll select "Load Game" and load my previous save file.
IMG_0016.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here it is. The stage select screen, where you can choose your destination. Now wait a sec... look at that yellow stamp on the level windows. They spelt Normal as Nomal (that "nomal" stamp only appears if you complete the level on Normal difficulty). But anyways, select your stage, then the difficulty setting. I'll explain what the difficulty settings do later, but now, let's see what Stage 1 looks like.
IMG_0004.png picture by Superjustinbros
Okay, Right off the bat, what's wrong with this picture? Look at Mr. Ice, Don't tell me that reminds you of a few specific characters. And I can name three. Numbuh 2 from Codename: Kids Next Door, Rayman from Rayman, and Mario from Super Mario. But oh look! Coins! Another element taken straight from Mario!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash this game just because it's a clone of the Mario games and the characters are based off pre-existing characters. But I just wanted to say that for the lols.

Oh, and one more thing. The game lacks BGM. That's right, no music exists in this game whatsoever. How nice.
IMG_0007.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's our first blocks. a "How" block telling you how to play, (duh.) and a "Item" block which houses one of the game's two items. Let's hit the "How" block and see what it has to say.
IMG_0008.png picture by Superjustinbros
*sigh* It appears we have some Engrish in the "How" boxes. But how can I complain? The people that made this game were Korean (No offense), so they probably didn't understand English well. Another thing I'd like to point out is that a lot of the later levels also have these "How" blocks, and they have "U" written instead of "You."
IMG_0009.png picture by Superjustinbros
Anyways, I hit the "Item" block, and out comes a sliver boot. Let's have Mr. Ice pick it up and try it out.
IMG_0010.png picture by Superjustinbros
...And now he's blue. Just like with the Fire Flowers from Mario, collecting the Ice Boots simply changes Mr. Ice to a different (baby-blue) color and gives him some new abilities. One of them being the ability to freeze enemies. Let's see that in action.
IMG_0012.png picture by Superjustinbros
Oh look, an enemy. Let's execute a simple stomp attack while wearing the Ice Shoes and see what happens!
Now the enemy's frozen solid. Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you don't pick up frozen enemies and throw them, Mr. Ice kicks the enemy and sends it flying, like Koopa shells.
Look at 'em go; Wooooooo.....
IMG_0011.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's the other thing the Ice Shoes can do. You can perform wall jumps. But unlike Mario's wall jumps, you can jump straight up instead of towards the opposite wall, and you do not slide down when you are against the wall.

Moving on to stage two, we have or next enemy: Crows.
IMG_0019.png picture by Superjustinbros
They're not much of a threat right now, but later, they'll become loyal pests.
Oh no! I got hit and shrunk down to half my size! Fantastic. How fantastic.
And if any of you are wondering what's with that Mr. Ice hologram on the floating platform, that's an ally of yours. You use them to cross instant-death spike pits and perform higher jumps. (Plus they also help you in a section in stage 5, where you have to travel along a certain path, or else the game sends you backwards in the level.)
Here's the other item. A red glove called the "Almighty Glove" that grants Mr. Ice the ability to damage everything on the screen by shaking the iPhone/iPod Touch, or by tapping the screen multiple times quickly.
IMG_0029.png picture by Superjustinbros
Get ready for another Mario homage.
That's right, the Spin Jump from Super Mario World even makes an appearance. By jumping then touching the screen again, Mr. Ice dives down and destroys any non/solid block in his path.

I'm going to be skipping stages 3-5 and move on straight to Level 6, where the frustration begins.
IMG_0022.png picture by Superjustinbros
This is where I began to experience troubles because of how difficult it can be to perform a super jump. You know how in Mario games you get more hight if you jump off an enemy with the Jump button held down? Well here, you have to touch the screen right as Mr. Ice lands on the enemy. If you're just a millisecond early or late, you have to try again.
Here's another situation were the same thing occurs. You have execute a Super Jump on the hologram so that you can jump over the spiky slime creature as the hologram passes underneath the block it is standing on. If you mess up, you fall into the spikes and die instantly. So in order to bypass this section, I had to let the spiky slime hurt me and use the after-invincibility to quickly cross the pit.

The most difficult of all the levels in this game is the seventh. Look. this spike pit is too wide for me to cross it without getting killed, so we have to look around for another way.
Bingo. Again like the Mario games, there are hidden blocks that you have to find in order to progress through the level. What a why to up the difficulty, especially since I got stuck in other parts of the game and couldn't escape from where I was.
IMG_0026.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's the second and more challenging pit of stage 7, which requires you to master the Super Jump (bouncing off the enemies) to progress...
...but the wall is to high even to reach with the Super Jump. So what do you have to do? You see that crow? You do a Super Jump off it after using the Mr. Ice hologram to reach it safely. But if you miss the Super Jump, you can't try again. You have to return to the solid ledge to the left of the pit, and wait for the crow to reappear, then wait for the hologram to reach you, then try again. And if that wasn't enough, there are other parts of the same level that require you to jump off crows to reach the other side, so that's why I said you have to master the Super Jump technique, because that first pit is not the only one that requires you to jump off crows just to get to the other side.

Now I think it would be time to discuss what the difficulty levels do. Normal has no exotic twists, Easy makes a Ice Shoe power-up spawn whenever Mr. Ice becomes small, and Hard makes the boss faster and more difficult to defeat, but also requires you to collect all 99 coins that appear in each level before you can actually confront the boss, and given how some of the coins are well hidden inside the breakable blocks that you often have to walk across to clear a gap, it makes Hard mode much more difficult that it should be. If the amount of coins required was a little smaller, that that would be perfect, since you wouldn't have to search every nook and cranny for each coin. Also, the difficulty settings don't adjust the level layout or enemy behavior in any way. Only Hard makes the boss itself harder. That's it.

IMG_0032.png picture by Superjustinbros
And so, we're up to the final boss, Dark Mister. And like I said, he's a evil version of Mr. Ice that is twice as large with a zig-zag mouth. You have to use the green slimes as a spring to jump high in the air and drill-stomp Dark Mister in the head several times. Once you beat him, this screen comes up:
This game is telling me if I want to unlock Stage 9, that I have to run through all 8 levels on Hard mode, which would be near-impossible given how well the coins are hidden. I'm not even going to bother showing it, since it would take forever trying to reach it.

And one more thing. What's with the random crashing before/after some levels? If it happens after you beat a level, it corrupts the data, making you have to start all over again.

So that's The Almighty Mr. Ice. My final opinion? It's a fairly decent clone of Super Mario, but a lot of things in the later stages made the game harder than it should be. If you're not sure if you're going to like playing this, play the Lite (free) version first before you decide to play the full product. It's not the best game on iPhone/iPod Touch, but it's decent enough to be somewhat enjoyable.

UPDATE: Hey everyone, Just a small minor update. Not long ago I unlocked the Extra Stage, and it's just a really difficult level with the BG of Stage 1 and the FG of Stage 7. The boss is just Dark Mister all over again, and the boss of Stage 3 is now a regular enemy, the same size of the other enemies.

The Almighty Mr. Ice receives a 6.8/10.

1 comment:

Justin De Lucia said...

Hey everyone, Just a small minor update. Not long ago I unlocked the Extra Stage, and it's just a really difficult level with the BG of Stage 1 and the FG of Stage 7. The boss is just Dark Mister all over again.