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The Top 7... Power-ups you DON'T want to collect

 

1) Purple mushroom – Super Mario Bros 2 (JPN)

Super Mario Bros 2 (that is, the real Super Mario Bros 2, known as the 'Lost Levels' in the West) was designed to subvert everything you thought you knew about Mario. The moment where you spring over the castle at the end of the level and into the space beyond is such a canny acknowledgement of game design norms (even in their infant state of the 1980s), it's probably the same moment Hideo Kojima decided he was going to make a game called Metal Gear Solid 2. And be really weird in it.

But the one that takes the poison-laced biscuit is the purple 1-Up mushroom. This little fella pops out of blocks like any other power-up, which – until now – always meant either getting bigger (great) or gaining an extra life (greater). So imagine the horror, disbelief and utter dismay when collecting it results in either shrinking back to regular Mario, or instant death.

Perhaps it was this collectible alone that sealed the game's fate in the West. American and European audiences had fallen in love with Mario. Giving them this downright mean morsel of game design during their gaming honeymoon might have put them off forever. It didn't, of course – the Lost Levels was one of the biggest reasons to buy All-Stars aside from the prettier graphics a few years later. But perhaps we weren't ready for this bad boy.

Even if he does now make for an awesome T-shirt.

14 July, 2011

The Top 7... Game bad guys you didn't want to kill
The gaming murders that left a bad taste in our mouth

 

 

The Top 7... Collectibles not worth collecting
100% pointless

 

 

The Top 7... Games you either love or hate
If you're in the middle, you're in the crossfire

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35 comments

  • hardcore_gamer1990 - July 22, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    Heh. I love the evil mushrooms. Especially urging my friends to collect them.
  • Atari2600Forever - July 21, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Mad props for the Bomberman love! Gotta play it on the Turbografix with 4 other friends (preferably after drinking keg beer all night).
  • papergoon - July 20, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    I've lived to see the day I picked up an EMP from a carepackage. Hijacked. Best MW2 moment.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 20, 2011 4:02 a.m.

    I heard that in the NES version of the Lost Levels, the Poison Mushroom was A LOT more similar in coloration to the regular Super Mushroom. They changed it to purple + a skull in the SNES version to be a little "nicer".
  • snothammer - July 20, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    I personally like picking up the viruses in Bomberman. They're a fun gamble, because some of them are (arguably) good. My personal favorite is the flame trail in Bomberman 64. If you pick one of those up, you can kill all the other players with one swift movement. I think the main thing I didn't like about them is how some of them have no effect on computer players. For example, if the COM picks up a control reversal virus, it is totally unaffected. Damn AI programming.
  • IceBlueKirby - July 19, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    I always wondered about the bubble gun in EWJ2. I thought it MUST have some purpose, but now I finally know that, no, it didn't. It was there to piss you off. I hate the lightning cloud more than anything though, because unlike most of these other powerups you can't just avoid getting it. The game just gives it to you, and then laughs at your futile efforts to give it to someone else. Even the AI is smart enough to just bump back into you the second you pass it off, giving the game even more chances to laugh in amusement of your impending shrinkage. And then once you're shrunk someone runs you over. Splendid.
  • philipshaw - July 19, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    Great top 7 and number 1 is spot on
  • nokeisoka - July 19, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    The skulls in bomberman 64 specifically the flame one is pretty fun combine it with the heart and you can go around killing ghost and players with increased run speed and instant contact death while picking up your heart everytime you die.
  • jmcgrotty - July 19, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    Without bothering to give examples, the whole Mario franchise is flooded with pathetic and downright bad power-ups.
  • theoatmealguy - July 19, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    The molotov was a crappy weapon at first, but once the green armor is picked up, the flame gets much higher, and travels farther. Great for destroying ground based enemies.
  • Yeager1122 - July 19, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    The clouds alright as long as you pass it along otherwise yes it does suck.
  • Stabby_Joe - July 18, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    Finally! Some just had to call out that dam lightning cloud. In my experience it's sort of rare... and let it stay that way or nothing at all. Another pick up, while not a real example for this list is old school shooters where you have a weapon to suit your current needs then you land on another that is, let's say only good for bosses.
  • Mumb00 - July 18, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the article's title was the invisibility potion from Wizards & Warriors on NES. I suppose the Bomberman skull is the same thing when it triggers the invisibility effect, but it made your character invisible only to you! All the enemies could home in on you just as easily as any other time, and that stupid shimmer effect did not make it easy to be jumping the various narrow ledges trying to run away from the buggering things!
  • humpiedumpie - July 18, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    That is some verry funny writing there haha :) great article
  • jackthemenace - July 18, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    I've only ever gotten, like, 1 care package. So Cundy's better than me./ Oh, and I WANT THAT T-SHIRT
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 18, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    What the hell is wrong with the care package? If you are bad at the game, you usually get choppers or airstrikes. If you're good, that's when you tend to get uav's and ammo. If you don't like it, don't put it as one of your killstreaks. It's as simple as that.
  • rxb - July 18, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    The bombmerman skull is terrible but has resulted in some of my most hilarious memorable moments ever. The care package is a godsend for poor COD players, I stll remember the first time i got crushed by one, happy days......
  • Ampatent - July 18, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    Two things. The propensity of UAVs in care packages is a good thing because any FPS veteran will tell you that a UAV can change a match completely. Second, I imagine most of us would have figured out faster that the purple mushrooms were bad if the skull on them was actually distinguishable. Clever idea though.
  • Darkhawk - July 18, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    The Molotov was only ever good for one level in the entire "Ghosts" series. But man did it ever make that level easier. Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Genesis. Stage 4 boss. The boss in this level is this shelled maggot thing, which Arthur is actually standing on top of. Its weak points are on its body, and certain ones can only be damaged by standing directly above, jumping, and then shooting straight down. This is extremely tricky to do because not only are there smaller maggots crawling towards you, there are also flying worms above your head, making it impossible to jump half the time anyway. HOWEVER! The Molotov, being the only weapon that arcs downwards, makes it a lot easier. You can just crouch and lob fireballs down on to the weak points, and finish it off quickly and painlessly. Here's the boss in action. Unfortunately, this guy is using the spear so you'll see how much trouble he has: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeVIMAVsPxQ#t=2m10s
  • batmanboy11 - July 18, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    Yeah, this is about right

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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