Today’s Player Two Start digs into the Digital Goody Bag and pays tribute to some of our favorite video game Power-Ups, those fun little boosts and advantages that make reaching the end of a level, completing a stage or laying waste to that Big Boss just that much easier.
First, the boring stuff: we won’t be reviewing any of these games, as we don’t do reviews here; there are already so many game reviewers in Cyber Land that us attempting to do it would be superfluous, especially since we’re even more clueless gamers than Conan O’Brien. Also, this list isn’t in any particular order, so I won’t be numbering them. That said, Press Start.
INVINCIBLE STAR (Super Mario Bros. games)
Arguably one of THE most famous and revered Power-Ups in all of gaming. Snag this bad boy and you can just run through anything, knocking any and all obstacles out of your way for several second, accompanied by a Bossa Nova beat. It’s good to be the king.
BOMB PIZZA (TMNT: Turtles in Time)
Similar to the Invincible Star, this greasy wonder will cause you to spin around like a maniac, bringing da pain to any and all surrounding enemies. Any Pizza served in a red box with a fireakin’ bomb on it has to he dangerous…or just loaded down with jalapeno peppers.
FIRE FLOWER (Super Mario Bros. games)
It allows you to whomp enemies with fireballs. ‘Nuff said. You’ll never look at a flower with eyeballs on it the same way again.
CAPE FEATHER (Super Mario World)
This little beauty turns Mario into Caped Mario, allowing him to fly indefinitely through levels, and attack spiked enemies by spinning it around.
WARP STAR (Kirby games)
It’s the little pink ball’s primary mode of transportation, that flies Kirby to another part of a level once he gets on it. Sometimes a Warp Star is the only way to reach the end of the level; sometimes they allow Kirby to reach secret areas; while other times, they just provide a faster (and safer) way to get across. Sure, it has a tendency to violently crash land, destroying itself in the process, but it’s a flying star. It’s just naturally cool.
SPINY SHELL & LIGHTNING BOLT (Super Mario Kart games)
These 2 are favorite ways of laying waste to your competitors.
The Spiny Shell (aka the Blue Shell), when fired, seeks out the lead car in the race and takes it out….
…While the Lightning Bolt shrinks all the racers except for the user, making them slower and vulnerable to being squashed by normal sized racers.
TANOOKI, HAMMER & FROG SUITS (Super Mario Bros. 3)
I’m listing these last 3 together since they’re all from the same game.
The Tanooki Suit may make Mario look like a college football mascot, but it can do some cool stuff. With it, he can fly across levels…
…Plus it allows him to evade enemies by transforming him into a statue. (I don’t get the correlation between raccoons and statues, must be a Japanese thing.) Incidentally, if you time it just right, if you do the statue transformation move as Tanooki Mario is going down a pipe, when he comes out the other end, the Tanooki Suit will be gray. I’ve never done it myself.
The Hammer Suit allows Mario to fling hammers at his foes a la the Hammer Brothers, and it grants him invulnerability when he ducks down into his shell.
The Frog Suit won’t earn you any style points, but it does enable you to swim farther and faster in underwater levels, and you can jump high and far on land.
-Plus, as a nifty little bonus, if you can manage to keep your suit while beating the Koopaling at the end of the level (I usually couldn’t), you’d get a different message from the King of that level!
Here’s the Tanooki King’s message:
Frog King message:
And the Hammer King message:
After all that, I can think of only one thing to say: